In 1597 a Royal pamphlet was published about werewolves, the classification of demons, witches and black magic. It explained and endorsed the reasons for persecuting witches in a Christian society under the rule of law. It included methods of discovering witches and told the ‘misinformed populace’ of the practices, the implications and dangers of sorcery.
The earliest recorded mention of the stocks being used as a form of punishment was 4700 years ago. ‘He puts my feet in the stocks.’ Job 33:11.
Celebrated with dangerous sports, exotic rituals and wild festivities May Day has been celebrated in Britain for centuries.
Black people have lived in Britain since the Roman occupation over 1000 years ago. The first black people in England were not victims and they contributed far more to English history than they are usually given credit for. The shameful and barbaric British slave trade did not begin until after Queen Elizabeth the first’s death and the black men and women living in England before then were totally free.
This cannot be said for other kingdoms in Europe and by 1502 the Spanish were transporting black slaves from Africa to South America for profit. Some of these slave ships were intercepted and raided by English Privateers (Pirates) and the slaves were brought to England and freed. According to historian David Olusoga on BBC Bitesize, Africans brought to England were accepted and lead very normal lives. Some were employed by merchants, seamstresses, beer brewers, silk and needle makers. They lived as far out of London as Suffolk working in the cloth trade which was the most important English trade at that time. The records show that Black Christians were baptised, married and buried in English churches.
If you had ‘goose bumps’ in the 16th century it did not mean you had little bumps appearing on your arms because you were cold. Having ‘goose bumps’ was Elizabethan slang for having venereal disease. There were thousands of prostitutes or doxies as they were known, in Norwich, Exeter, York, London and elsewhere. In fact there were far more prostitutes in Elizabethan London than there are now in modern-day Birmingham or any other large British town in 2018. The most notorious stews, trugginghouses or brothels were in Southwark on the south side of the river Thames. Continue reading “Sex, brothels and prostitution…”